Gwar have been around for just about a quarter of a century and while I've seen my more than fair share of metal shows, I've somehow not seen them until last night when they played The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY (even though they've probably played there at least once a year for every year they've existed).
I had nothing against Gwar, I think it was just one of those bands I knew would always be back around and that I would eventually catch them live...what brought me to dole out the green for a ticket last night was the opener, Priestess.
Actually the opener was Cattle Decapitation - a band of subtlety I'm sure based on their name...I planned on checking them out, but I took a nap and overslept...yes a NAP! The rock n roll lifestyle can take it's toll on a weeknight when work comes early.
I awoke at 8:25 and from a text from my buddy at the show, CD just got off the stage and Priestess was scheduled to come on at 8:45...luckily the Chance is about 3 minutes from my place so I got there only to find some fracas had caused the person working the ticket booth to be unavailable.
So about 10 of us are waiting to buy tix and we hear the band come on stage...doing a little tuning up / sound checking...ticket gal comes back...I get a ticket, walk in the door, see my buddy by the bar and Priestess starts...perfect timing!
Priestess take the best of 70's doom metal and standard hard rock and mix it with speed metal and some intricate guitar leads ala say Iron Maiden. So one song might be a heavy groove rocker, while the next might have a New Wave of British Heavy Metal feel followed by a head banging balls out breaking the speed limit rocker. They're tight, at least three of them do lead vocals (Satan's version of the Eagles?!?) and they will rock you.
They've evidently been around for a while, but I just learned of them when they opened for classic 70's Doom Metal legends Pentragram in NYC a couple of months ago. I've been raving about them ever since and they definitely gained a ton of fans in Poughkeepsie last night.
So now it's time for Gwar...I won't bother with a set list as I have no clue about any of their song names (although I totally recognized the final number from Headbangers Ball of years ago), but I will say it was a blast!
Taking the AC/DC song, "If You Want Blood, You Got It" as something of a motto to not just live by, but exceed...the show opens with video of The Steve Wilkos Show. For fans of trash TV, you'll know the show hosted by the former Jerry Springer Show Bouncer...as Steve puts down Gwar, they bring him out and proceed to chop off his head sending the first blast of blood into the audience...
Some super heavy fast tunes are played and then we basically start the storyline which is members of Gwar (mainly Bonesnapper and lead singer Oderus Urungus) taking on all comers in the Intergalactic Wrestling Federation to protect the "Frank Sinatra Belts of Total World Domination"...trust me...it all sort of makes sense
So the night would have Gwar playing some songs and then a match while the band rocked...the setlist of blood, death and mayhem went something like this:
Bernie Madoff come out with his giant bag of money and proceeds to have his chest cavity ripped down to show his guts and tons of blood spray
Obama and Hillary Clinton in something of a tag team match...Obama gets decapitated and Hillary gets her boobs ripped off...then hillary is ripped in half...and you guessed it...TONS of blood
Gwar don't skimp on the blood and their fans love it - evidently the thing to do is to take a white t-shirt and make your own Gwar shirt for the show and then see how bloody you can get it by the end!
During a song sung by Sleazy Martini, we get to see a Hippie lady, a Marilyn Manson-esqu Goth Alt Rocker and a Nazi Skinhead all meat their end loosing heads and scalps and spraying blood everywhere.
Also Techno and Bozo Destructo come from another world and cause the most damage to Gwar (including ripping the scalp off of Oderus' head) - Techno has a giant buzzing saw for an arm and you can only begin to imagine the blood it spills - but in the end, Gwar win and take back the belts to assure their world domination.
Other than the blood, one item that cannot be avoided is Oderus gigantic schlong...of course it has to be put to use and during the last song it powerfully shoots a green ooze all over the loving crowd (as Gwar's slave holds up what appears to be a giant dead roadkill dog that while dead can still magically spray tons of blood around).
I'm sure there's more bloodletting I'm forgetting - in the second song or so a baby is impaled on Oderus shoulder spikes...
Did I say it's a hoot?
Let's face facts, Gwar is for a certain type of person and I'm glad to say I'm one...I'll definitely catch them again and hope to see Priestess headlining soon as well!